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Kasaguadua Nature Reserve Salento Quindio | Colombia Backpacking



2.6 km west of Salento on Via Palestina, Salento, Quindio
(57) 313.889.8273 (cel), (57) 320.425.8075 (cel)
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Overview: Kasaguadua Natural Reserve is a 13 hectare nature reserve started by Nicholas and Carlos, dedicated to conservation of the unique and beautiful ecosystem found in Colombia's famed Coffee Zone. It's definitely "off the beaten track", but it's also quite accessible from downtown Salento, making it a great choice for tourists and backpackers looking for a more authentic experience, with ample opportunities for guided nature walks and tours. 

The owners, along with their long-term collaborator William, have put a lot of hard work and love into this property, and the architectural designs and workmanship are their own. They even harvest their own bamboo for construction purposes. While the living quarters are in the middle of a forest, don't think that you'll have to go without modern amenities. Nicholas and Carlos have built a beautiful and comfortable space for their guests, which includes a fabulous and spacious kitchen, great bathroom and shower facilities, a large library, and wifi.


Neighborhood: Kasaguadua is located with an ecological reserve, with an entrance west of downtown Salento, on the same road as neighbors La Serrana and Yambolombia. This is a place to enjoy peace and tranquility with the sounds and the sights of Colombia's beautiful coffee country. The neighborhood is a mix of hostels, coffee plantations and fincas (farms).

How to Get There: As with most destinations in Colombia, your best options are bus or plane. 

The area is serviced by two airports about an hour away: Armenia's El Eden International Airport (AXM) and Pereira's Matecana International Airport (PEI). From Armenia or Pereira it's quick and easy to get to Salento either by bus or taxi.

From Armenia's bus terminal, buses run every 20 minutes to Salento. The bus takes about 45 minutes and costs $4.000. From Pereira's bus terminal, there are less frequent departures: roughly 6 a day Monday to Friday and hourly on weekends. The bus also takes about 45 minutes and costs $6.000.

From downtown Salento you have two options: You can pay $12.000 for a 10 minute ride in a "Willys" jeep which will take you to the Kasaguadua entrance. Or, if you are amenable to walking (and aren't carrying too much baggage), you can head west, walking 2.6 kilometers, which takes around 30-45 minutes. From the entrance, it's a 750 meter walk downhill through the forest to get to the lodging areas.

Additionally, please bear in mind that if you need to communicate with management via cell phone, in the main plaza of Salento, there are "vendedores ambulantes" or ambulatory salespeople, that cell minutes for 200 or 300 pesos a minute. Although it's always best to buy a SIM card and get your own data and phone package, this is a convenient option for people who need to call for information and don't know how to do it. If you are unsure of how to find people offering this service, just ask "Donde se vende minutos, por favor?"

Management/Staff: Nicholas and Carlos have had the property for nine years, and have spent the past several years developing the buildings, facilities, and "pods" that you see in the photographs. They are passionate about sharing and showing their property with visitors. They met while traveling in Africa, where they hatched the plan that one day would result in Kasaguada. 

Rooms: Kasaguadua offers guests the option of staying in a shared dorm room with four beds, or in their stylish "pods", ideal for couples. Additionally, Kasaguadua occasionally offers volunteer opportunities, where lodging is exchanged for helping with various construction or conservation projects.

Shared Rooms: During low season, a stay in a dorm bed runs for $25.000 to $30.000, including breakfast.  During high season (December, January, summer months) this price increases to $35.000 to $45.000.

Private Rooms: Private accommodations in the pod cost $70.000 to $75.000 in low season, and $80.000 to $95.000 in high season.



Breakfast: Yes

Kitchen: Guests are free to use the kitchen facilities, which include a refrigerator, toaster oven, and rangetop stove.

Restaurant: No. The closest restaurants are in downtown Salento, about 45 minutes away on foot.

Bar: No.

Terrace/Patio: Yes. There are ample common areas to stretch out and relax, as well as several hammocks.

TV Lounge: Yes

Computers: No.

Wifi: Yes. 

Lockers: Yes (in the process of being built).

Bicycles: No.

Credit Cards: No

Luggage Storage: No

Check-in Time: flexible (up to 8pm)

Check-out Time: 11am


At Kasaguadua tours are offered on a regular basis depending on the reservations received. A minimum of two people are required to reserve a tour. The tours start from the gate at 9am, with a focus on the tropical Andean cloud forest between 1600m and 1900m. The tour mainly deals with the ecology of the area and how it all works together, and includes identification of local flora and fauna. The tour takes about 2/12 hours depending on the interest of the tourist. For those lodging here, you also have the option of walking around the reserve by yourself, where you can enjoy 4km of beautiful paths. The tour does not have a fixed cost: rather, participants are asked to make a contribution of their own choosing which goes towards funding conservation efforts in the reserve.

Conclusion: Kasaguadua is a perfect example of the kind of place and experience that we try to encourage at Colombia Backpacking. It's a great way to get off the beaten track and enjoy something different. You are close enough to Salento to enjoy all of the touristic attractions and amenities of a small town, but you are far enough away that you really get to feel firsthand the wonders of the Andean cloud forrest. Nicholas and Carlos are amazing hosts and you will really sense the passion that they have for showing visitors their little slice of heaven. If you are interested in booking a stay here, make sure you call or email ahead of time, especially during high season. Space is limited, although they are building more lodging.

If you're heading to the Eje Cafetero, put Kasaguadua Natural Reserve at the top of your list!

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